Suggestions for the GURUpalooza! Lotusphere session

Basically I think that with only one hour (or 90 minutes) set aside for the GURUpalooza! it would be nice and a better experience if attendees could submit the questions in advance. It was my understanding that many of the questions asked during the session…

  • should really have been asked during the week in the “ask the developers” lab (asked in the wrong forum)
  • was too specific (too many details which made the question impossible to answer without taking too much time)
  • was too unspecific (too few details which made the question impossible to answer without taking too much time)

Another point is that it seemed difficult for the “gurus” to decide who should answer the question. Posing the questions in advance would mean that questions could be assigned to the “guru” best suited for the question and questions could be (slightly) modified to make them more of less specific. The “gurus” would probably also like to combine some questions to make sure as many as possible got their question asked and answered. Answering as many questions as possible must be the main purpose of the session.

Another idea could be to hold more than one session – maybe even one per day like a returning BoF-type session. As I recall it, very few of the questions posed were actually related to any of the sessions presented during the event so having at least one more session earlier in the week wouldn’t be too much of a problem. Dividing up the “gurus” into smaller groups for a daily GURUpalooza! could also mean that more people could be “served” during the week without burdening the “gurus” too much. It would probably also take some of the pressure of that last session before the closing session.

Anyway – this is some ideas I have been playing around with. What did you think of the session?

3 thoughts on “Suggestions for the GURUpalooza! Lotusphere session”

  1. I agree with your list of issues. I’m not sure what would be the best way to solve them. I was definitely disappointed in the Gurupalooza last year, which is odd given that many of the people on stage are friends and so personally there is a very positive initial impression, just by seeing them on stage.

    I wonder if we couldn’t use some of this new-fangled “collaboration software” the kids are talking about to propose questions and vote on which ones generate the most interest throughout the week?

    I also wonder if the Gurus shouldn’t be restricted to answering questions on the topics they presented about. One problem last year was that people weren’t sure who should answer a given qusetion, but another was that sometimes the people who answered weren’t truly “gurus” in that area – they were simply expressing an opinion and trying to help, but the opinion wasn’t an expert one.

    I think the similarity in format to the “Ask the Developers” session is a bad thing, in general. It confuses attendees. A different format might be more successful.

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  2. Ouch, speaking of formats, your comment parser removed all of my carriage returns. I don’t remember that happening here before – are you trying something new?

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